It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
March is over, but the madness of college basketball has a few more games to go, with the Final Four and the national title game ahead in the NCAA Tournament. But what does the end of one of the biggest betting events of the year mean to the gambling world?
65% of NCAA Tournament bettors wagered more than ever this year
Bettors to choose among bluebloods at men’s and women’s Final Four
The Big Easy betting preview for Duke-North Carolina Final Four showdown
Villanova aims to beat Kansas again in Final Four
Will the Cinderella run of St. Peter’s lead to change in New Jersey’s college betting law?
New York reports robust mobile revenue for first week of March Madness
Avello: “Duke is a hazard” in future wagers
States still trying
Kansas sports betting bill takes important step forward
House Ways and Means Committee next up for Minnesota sports betting bill
“Longshot” Kentucky sports betting bill gets first read in Senate
Voters in Georgia may see sports betting on November ballot
New regulations in Ontario force DFS operators to make difficult business decisions
A pair of recent academic papers purport to beat the books, but in the end … not so much
Issues and more issues
Former minor leaguer admits to running illegal sportsbook in California
Sportradar suspends new investments in Russia
BBWAA’s conversations about its role in the new CBA have echoes in the gambling industry
Year-over-year handle continued sharp improvement in Nevada, but not revenue
Colorado reports adjusted sports betting revenue loss for February
Virginia extends run of $400 million sports betting handle months
Horse racing never stops
TVG’s contract as the lone online parimutuel operator in the state expires in 2023
Kentucky breakage and parimutuel tax bill approved by Senate, approaching finish line
California vets say ‘no’ to tribal wagering
A group of California veterans organizations say a tribal sports betting initiative will create a $5.5 billion loss in economic activity and $500 million in lost tax revenue, and the groups this week came out in opposition to the measure, which has already qualified for the November 2022 ballot. AMVETS, the Association of the United States Army (Northern and Southern California), and Disabled American Veterans are among the groups opposing the measure, according to a press release.
“The qualified tribal gaming initiative encourages frivolous lawsuits that threaten thousands of well-paying jobs, veteran-owned businesses, and the ability of municipalities to fund vital emergency services, including police, ambulance, and fire,” said Mike Kerr, commander, Disabled American Veterans. “Many of our members rely on work in emergency services after their military service to provide for their families and give back to their communities.”
The proposed initiative would allow for sports betting at brick-and-mortar locations, including tribal casinos and racetracks. It does not address digital wagering. The proposal would also expand gaming by allowing for ball-and-dice games at casinos, but the veterans groups are concerned about a section of the initiative that would allow tribal casinos to sue non-tribal competitors using private trial lawyers rather than going through the state Attorney General’s Office.
— Jill R. Dorson
Oregon putting finishing touches on DK platform swap
The Oregon Lottery announced this week an April 20 notice of proposed rulemaking that will complete the process of DraftKings taking over the state’s sports betting platform.
The Oregon Lottery launched its ScoreBoard platform in October 2019, with SBTech running the platform. But since DraftKings acquired SBTech, the lottery and DraftKings agreed to make DraftKings the front-facing brand on the platform.
The lottery disabled its ScoreBoard and transitioned to the DraftKings platform in January. A temporary version of the updated rules surrounding the change went into effect in December.
— Jill R. Dorson
Arizona rules in the news
A bill is moving through the Arizona Senate that would allow the NHL’s Coyotes franchise to transfer its digital wagering platform from its Glendale arena to Arizona State University’s hockey arena.
According to the state’s new sports betting law, only teams with venues that seat 10,000 or more can offer retail and digital gaming, but the ASU arena, which will be the Coyotes’ temporary home, seats just 5,000. The team wants the law amended to accommodate its move but has no plans to open a physical sportsbook.
According to ArizonaSports 97.8FM, the state’s tribes oppose the change, saying that the tribes gave up exclusivity in the new law, which should not be changed to accommodate one group’s lost lease.
In other rules-related news, as required by law, the Arizona Department of Gaming must approve permanent event wagering rules by April 15. This week it posted a draft of the permanent rules, as well as opened a public comment period on them. The public comment period closes Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
— Jill R. Dorson
More of the most interesting stories
NO GO IN OK: Key deadline passes before sports betting bill could move [CherokeePhoenix]
TIME RUNNING OUT: Gaming bills stall as end of session nears in Alabama [AlabamaBaptist]
ROOTING THEM OUT: Who’s in charge of finding and catching cheaters in sports gambling? [ESPN]
VROOM, VROOM: Sports betting could be huge for NHRA, but there’s a catch [Autoweek]
A Gold Glove and a Diamond personality 💎.
We are thrilled to welcome softball star and MLB Network personality @aj_andrews_ to the BetMGM family! pic.twitter.com/8ZFrZRRsrH
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 31, 2022
SHOW ME THE MONEY: NCPG secures first-round funding for new initiatives [NCPG]
MASS MESS, PART 1: MA Senate president talks, but doesn’t say much about sports betting [MassLive]
MASS MESS, PART 2: MA attorney general says she backs legal wagering [BostonGlobe]
DENIED: Court of appeals rebuffs Baffert suspension stay motion [BloodHorse]